Future of Tipp City school buildings focus of board

Published: Sunday, January 14, 2018 @ 8:00 AM


            Tippecanoe Middle School’s future use is being explored. The city school board is holding a special meeting Monday, Jan. 15. CONTRIBUTED
Tippecanoe Middle School’s future use is being explored. The city school board is holding a special meeting Monday, Jan. 15. CONTRIBUTED

Residents of the Tipp City Exempted Village School District should expect to hear a lot of discussion in coming weeks about the district’s facilities.

Board President Sam Spano told fellow board members Jan. 8 that it’s time “to roll up our sleeves and figure out how to get this district what it needs for classroom facilities.”

“It is past time,” board member Theresa Dunaway said.

RELATED: School board president says action needed

The board will continue talking about the facilities at a special work session scheduled Monday at 12:30 p.m. at the board of education offices. The discussion involves returning board members Spano, Dunaway and Andy Venters along with new members Corine Doll and Joellen Heatherly, who were elected in November.

The board has discussed for several years options for addressing and paying for classroom needs and aging buildings, particularly the Broadway Elementary, built in 1951, and Nevin Coppock Elementary, built in 1958, as well as the need for improvements to L.T. Ball Intermediate School and Tippecanoe Middle School.

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The district’s newest building is Tippecanoe High School, which opened in 2004.

Gary Pfister, district facilities director, told the board Jan. 8 those who see the buildings daily understand the need for action, particularly at the elementary buildings. District Treasurer Dave Stevens said the cost of maintaining those building continues to rise.

A proposal to replace the elementary buildings with a new pre-kindergarten through grade three building in 2016 was defeated soundly by voters. Board members and administrators said they learned from that defeat that residents wanted a plan beyond just the elementary buildings.

While looking again at the best proposal for replacing the elementary buildings, the board Jan. 8 also heard a presentation on a possible program to update L.T. Ball and the Middle School under House Bill 153. That law allows districts to borrow money for such projects and pay the debt using existing dollars such as permanent improvement funds. A $7.3 million project was outlined and the board discussed a possible community meeting in coming weeks to explain the possible project to the community.

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“I think it shows the community we are listening. We heard a lot of, ‘don’t take all of our buildings down,’” Pfister said. “There is a lot of life left in those buildings.”

Other topics the board said need to be included in discussions are how to get the community involved in discussions and whether a project would be paid for 100 percent locally or if the district should work with the Ohio School Facilities Commission on receiving some state money toward a project.

The facilities plan also would include athletic facilities, including the proposed stadium project at City Park. An effort to raise $4.9 million privately for a facility is underway.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

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Shooting at vet clinic near Yellow Springs investigated as self-inflicted fatality

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 2:45 PM
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 8:16 PM

Greene County sheriff removes body from vet clinic near Yellow Springs

UPDATE @ 8:01 p.m.: The shooting at the Hosket Veterinary Services on Thursday is being investigated as a self-inflicted fatality, Greene County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Mike Brown said.

Deputies dispatched about 11:20 a.m. to the business, 4450 U.S. 68 North, found an individual who had suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Chief Deputy Mike Brown said. He declined to release any more information, saying the case remains under investigation. 

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A Greene County coroner’s investigator has removed the body.

Community members and friends who went to the business said they are stunned that something like this happened here.

“I mean, this is so devastating. It’s hard to even talk about it,” said Pamela Davis. 

People who had come to the business for appointments found deputies engaged in their investigation of the incident.

“My sympathy is to the family. All we can do is lean on each other and be supportive of them,” Kathy McConehea, of Yellow Springs.

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Pinning ceremony honors new VA Medical Center director Jill Dietrich 

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 7:14 PM

Jill Dietrich
Veteran Affairs
Jill Dietrich(Veteran Affairs)

Newly appointed VA Medical Center Director Jill Dietrich's pinning ceremony was held this afternoon, marking the first time a woman has been sworn in to the leadership role in the VA’s 150 year history. 

"I was just extremely happy to be joining the ranks of the senior executive service and come lead the Dayton VA Medical Center, " said Dietrich. 

RELATED: New Dayton VA director will be first woman in 150-year history 

Dietrich says she wants to create a high level of trust with the veterans and increase employee engagement. 

"Listening sessions, and walking around talking to people and tours, the culture here is phenomenal. "People here care and they want to do what is best for the veterans," said Dietrich. 

The Dayton VA has faced issues in the past, from a dental hygiene scandal in 2011 where a dentist was accused of not changing gloves between patients. 

In 2015, a whistleblower brought attention to a patient backlog in the pulmonary clinic. 

Officials say improvements have been made locally. 

The VA is currently facing national issues like concerns over hiring enough qualified staff and providing timely patient access to healthcare. 

The top of the VA is also facing problems.  

President Donald Trump fired VA secretary David Shulkin last month, and has nominated White House doctor Navy Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson to take his place. 

Dietrich says despite what's going on with the VA in Washington, the mission does not change at the local level here in Dayton.

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Layer Park opening could be delayed a few months

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 5:15 PM

Layer Park opening could be delayed a few months

The reopening of Layer Park in Miami Twp. could take a couple more months, despite the sign out front indicating "Park will open in Spring 2018." 

The park has been shut down since January 2016 because of high levels of lead and arsenic found in the ground. 

The lead and arsenic was initially found back in 2013, when the park was the site of a former shooting range.

Those tests only came to light in early 2016, in what the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) admitted was a big mistake. 

The federal EPA used more than $3 million from a super fund to clean up the park, costing the township nothing. 

EPA work initially wrapped up in October, but the grassy areas still need more work, we've been told. 

Dave Hill, a resident who lives next to the park, is glad the digging and hauling of dirt is over so he can regain some peace and quiet. 

"Big semi trucks, hauling it out, all that earth moving equipment back there, steam shovels," Hill said. 

Township contractors installed a new play set, basketball hoop, and planted 60 new trees. 

The parking lot has also been redone. 

Hill says the reopening can't come soon enough, and is hopeful the park will reopen soon so he can take his grand kids.

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Street back open after gas leak in Fairborn

Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 6:08 PM

UPDATE @ 6:30 p.m.

The street is back open and the scene clear after a gas leak shut down a portion of West Hebble Avenue this evening in Fairborn.

FIRST REPORT

A gas leak has forced the closure this evening of a portion of West Hebble Avenue.

The street is closed from Third Street to Central Avenue.

Vectren is on the scene to start digging for the gas shutoff, according to a social media post from the Fairborn Fire Department.

There are no evacuations, Fairborn police dispatch said.

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